As for the moment, the term ‘reference speakers’ is a terminology that is somehow open to interpretation. Many manufacturers have used the term to describe the speaker models that they consider as best in the respective classes, or for speakers that they use as standards. M-Audio, particularly, has introduced M-Audio AV30 and M-Audio AV40 – both are pairs of reference speakers. And, indeed, both are considered as the best pairs of speakers in the respective price ranges. However, as the price difference between the two models is not exactly large, you may want to know whether you should pick M-Audio AV30 or M-Audio AV40 for the best bang out of your bucks. Let’s compare the two!
Each of the models is a pair of active speakers. In both models, all the volume control knob and connection ports are placed on one of the speakers. They share similar designs and shapes. They are rectangular, with each speaker having a woofer and a dome tweeter.
However, the speakers of M-Audio AV40 are a thud bulkier than M-Audio AV30’s speakers. In addition, M-Audio AV40’s speakers are also slightly heavier than M-Audio AV30’s speakers. M-Audio AV40 comes with four-inch polypropylene-coated woofers and one-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters, whereas M-Audio AV30 has three-inch woofers and one-inch dome tweeters.
With a bigger body, comes a bigger power. M-Audio AV40 features 20-Watt amplification per channel with Class A/B amps. As a comparison, M-Audio AV30 only has 10-Watt amplification per channel. Hence, M-Audio AV40 can deliver significantly louder and fuller sounds without distortion.
Furthermore, M-Audio AV40 features a slightly wider frequency response range than M-Audio AV30. The curve expands further down. M-Audio AV40 has a frequency response range of 85 Hz – 20 kHz, while M-Audio AV30 has a frequency response range of 95 Hz – 20 kHz. Combined with the bigger woofers, M-Audio AV40 manages to deliver an improved bass performance. The lows are noticeably more solid and more accurate. M-Audio AV40 is particularly praised for being able to have powerful bass without ruining the crisp and clarity of mids and highs, whereas M-Audio AV30 may not be able to do so at high volumes.
M-Audio AV30 Vs AV40
|M-Audio AV30||M-Audio AV40|
|Key Features||- 3" composite woofers
- 3/4 ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters
- OptImage III tweeter wave guides for superior imaging
- 15-watt-per-channel amplifier with architecture
- Magnetic shielding||- 4-inch polypropylene-coated woofers - tight, accurate bass
- 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters - clear, smooth highs
- OptImage III tweeter wave guides
- 20-watt-per-channel amplifier with Class A/B architecture
- Magnetic shielding|
|Ratings||2.3 out of 5.0 stars||4.2 out of 5.0 stars|
|Best Deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
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As M-Audio AV40 is only a few couples of dollars higher than M-Audio AV30, M-Audio AV40 indeed makes the best choice here. The improvement in audio quality very much overweighs the price increment!